Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Kinsey's first first grade report card came out yesterday and Sheryl and I are very happy with her. She's doing well and really enjoying it. She's really good in math, which I never was, and is doing really well in her reading.

It's interesting about how my attitude about grades has changed from when I was in school until now. When I was teaching, grades were often that deadline that I didn't look forward to doing. either because I wasn't completely ready or I knew that some kids were going to be very disappointed. My other feeling was that was WAY too much importance put on grades. Grades are supposed to be indicators of how much the students had learned in the class. Did it always properly reflect that? Well, in my classes, I hope that it did. But when we started putting such import on the grades and rather than the actual knowledge gained from a class... that's when cheating becomes rampant. When the focus is put on the number score on a piece of paper, rather than the actual knowledge gained, that's when we've gotten all screwed up. And that's the school's fault and the parent's fault and the college's fault. And it's a slippery slope that we all get caught up in, because we want the best for our kids and we put so much import on their future that we make them uber-competitive with each other. And that doesn't help them either.

So, for Kinsey, grades are important and we want her to make good grades, but we want her to learn and do her best at everything she tries. And we also want her to know that we will never judge her worth based on those grades. We're happy when she makes does well in school, but that's not where her worth comes from.


Jeff said...

I agree with you Phil on the over-emphasizing of grades. We had this discussion in one of my MBA classes that they should be a pass/fail mark based on whether the professor thought the student had accumulated/learned the knowledge. I think part of the problem is that it makes such a subjective decision be put on the teacher, and some teachers aren't willing to accept that.

Working at Vanderbilt, however, I know that SACS in its accreditation is requiring schools to develop better methods of measuring how well students are learning. It's a hard discussion, because then you get into standardized testing for proficiency, etc.

Imperfect Warrior said...

Hey Phil,
I doubt that you remember me. I went to Lipscomb, and West Nashville Hieghts CoC. I am Mike J.

Mark Driscoll, has site called Ask Anything. So I asked about his view on baptism. I would like to ask your readers to go there and vote for it. If the question posed is in the top 9 Mark will preach on it starting in January.

There is a chance that one of Christiandom most divisive pastors could speak about biblical baptism.
THat would be a cool day.

belinda said...

I think I just memorized - not sure how much I learned when I was in school.

Amy said...

Congrats to Kinsey! Sounds like she is doing very well in school.

I've thought about grades from a teacher's perspective. If I ever go into teaching I think grading would be the hardest part for the reasons you mentioned.

Some kids are smart as a whip but are horrible test takers.

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